Misconduct ruling put off by judge
PLACERVILLE – Superior Court Judge Suzanne Kingsbury postponed her ruling Friday of El Dorado Hills Investors LTD. ‘s lawsuit against El Dorado County, Board of Supervisors Chairman Sam Bradley and Supervisor Penny Humphreys.
Kingsbury said she will get together with the court’s research attorney to review the case and offer a ruling in a couple of weeks.
Attorneys for the El Dorado Hills Investors William J. Portanova and Dale A. Stern are asking the court to overturn an appeal passed by the Board of Supervisors on June 6.
The Board of Supervisors passed an appeal of the Planning Commission’s unanimous approval of developer Tony Mansour’s El Dorado Hills subdivision. The appeal passed 3-2, with supervisors Ray Nutting and Dave Solaro dissenting.
Portanova and Stern contend that Bradley and Humphreys had a personal interest or bias when they voted on appeals filed by the two supervisors and the Measure Y Committee, with which the supervisors were heavily involved. The attorneys said the supervisors should have disqualified themselves or should have been disqualified by the board.
Franklin Gumpert, attorney for Bradley and the county, filed a motion to suppress a deposition subpoena served upon Bradley until the administrative record of the June 6 board meeting is certified. Gumpert said that administrative record should be ready by Nov. 27, which is the maximum 180 days the county is allowed to take before the record is certified.
Gumpert asked the judge to not allow discovery until a ruling is issued on the motion.
In the motion filed by El Dorado Hills Investors, petitioners wrote: “Discovery is not sought into the supervisors’ positions with respect to broad policy issues of growth, slow growth or no growth in the west county area, but with respect to the unique and complex facts and arguments surrounding the interpretations and application of Measure Y and other county ordinances and policies to the West Valley View Tentative Map project.”
Portanova and Stern contend the court should permit exploration of Bradley and Humphreys’ relationship to the Measure Y Committee and whether they were acting on behalf of the Measure Y Committee when they filed the appeal of Mansour’s project. The attorneys also said they should be allowed to investigate the nature and extent of Bradley’s relationship to pollster Jim Moore and whether Moore was controlling Bradley when the supervisor filed the appeal.
“The question here is bias,” Portanova said. “We’re investigating bias and entanglements, and so far, we’ve been very successful.”
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